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Bones: The First Coat is the Difference


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I've decided to do my own test.


Since I haven't even started my Bones I minis and I'm lazy, brush-on is right out. I have a cheapy Testors airbrush, but have only tried it (poorly) once, so that's not an option either.


So, spray primers it is.

Caveat: I'm not vouching for the 'freshness' of these cans, many are old. As in years old.


All coats sprayed on Bones zombies (and one mummy - I ran out of zombies) on 1/23 @ 4:00 PST. 70 degrees, don't have a humidity 'figure', but it's normal.

At 4:30 p.m.:

Krylon Satin Polyurethane - pretty tacky

Krylon Grey Primer - a little tacky

Walmart Grey Primer - pretty tacky

Armory Grey Primer - dry

Army Painter Uniform Grey Primer - slightly tacky

Testors Dull Cote - slightly tacky


5:30 changes:

Krylon Satin Polyurethane - fairly tacky

Krylon Grey Primer - slightly tacky

Walmart Grey Primer - fairly tacky

Army Painter Uniform Grey Primer - barely tacky

Testors Dull Cote - barely tacky


Updates to follow.



At 6:45:

Army Painter Uniform Grey Primer - feels pretty dry to me

Testors Dull Cote - ever so slightly tacky

- I would try painting on both if I were set up for it.


*Note: I had primed 2 other Bones with Walmart primer ages ago, but didn't keep track. At some point they fully dried, I just don't know if it was hours/days/weeks or months (part of the reason for the new test, since the Walmart primer is by far the cheapest and my old 'go-to').


However, thus far, Armory, at $5/can (for me) is the clear winner. Walmart primer at $1/can takes an unknown length of time to dry and Army Painter (for me) at $15/can and not fully dry in 3 hours isn't even a contender. Shame, since they have so many primer colors, but I'm starting to think I'd rather brush on my base coats anyway...

Edited by Baphomet69
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Final update:

It is now 4:00 p.m. PST on 1/27. I did not check them on 1/25 or 1/26. Granted, we don't really have 'that winter thing' here. It's stayed between 50's at night to 70's during the day, though it did rain pretty good yesterday afternoon - last night (the minis have stayed outside, but not actually in the rain).


Near as I can tell, they are all now dry. The Walmart special may be ever, ever so slightly tacky - so slight that I can't be sure. I would certainly paint on it as is.


I had thought to paint a base coat on all of them as part two of this experiment, but meh. That might tell me something, but I doubt you'd all get much out of it. Besides, I'm in the middle of a crap work week now and don't wanna. :/ ;p


My findings; if you're not in a hurry and money is tight, Walmart primer ($1 for me) does indeed work. If you'd rather not let a mini sit 3-4 days between priming and painting, I would suggest Armory primer ($6 for me). A good compromise. It was the fastest drying of the ones I tested and is much closer in price to the Walmart than Army Painter ($15 for me, and it dried satin instead of flat as well).

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Probably the thing about them is they don't have anything to make them opaque, they're just the acrylic itself plus pigment. I GUESS that being almost pure acrylic emulsion - which is a bit like a PVA glue in some respects, its job is to stick - means they "grab" better.

That is unlikely to be it. I paint with professional artists paints -- pure, high-load pigments in pure acrylic emulsion -- and they do not act like liners.


I reckon Reaper's liners have a special proprietary formula to help reduce surface tension and make them adhere.

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Just in case someone's only reading the later comments and not the original stuff, and to reiterate it because it was the initial widely disseminated solution - Testor's Dullcote spray will give you a quick ready surface to paint on Bones, but it is the worst thing I've tested for durability of the paint job. I had much more chipping, and chipping that lead to flaking, with the figure 'primed' with Dullcote than with any other substance I tested. If you're painting Bones to play with, I do not recommend using it as a primer.

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